California Judge Allows 6,000 Black Tesla Workers to Pursue Class-Action Lawsuit over Racism Allegations

FREMONT, California – A California judge has issued a tentative ruling allowing nearly 6,000 Black workers from Tesla Inc.’s factory to collectively sue the car maker over allegations of racial discrimination. The judge, Noël Wise of Alameda County Superior Court, believes the workers should proceed with a class-action status due to Tesla’s alleged failure to protect them from racism. The ruling recognizes the company’s “pattern or practice” of neglecting to take necessary measures to prevent discrimination as a common issue for all Black employees at the Fremont plant.

Tesla has until Thursday to contest the judge’s ruling, after which a hearing will take place on Friday for both parties to present their arguments. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2017 by Tesla worker Marcus Vaughn, who claimed that the factory production floor was rampant with racist behavior. The complaint states that racial slurs were routinely used by co-workers and supervisors, and employee complaints to human resources were largely ignored.

Tesla initially denied the allegations and responded to Vaughn’s lawsuit with a blog post titled “Hotbed of Misinformation,” asserting its innocence and disclosing the termination of three individuals following investigations into alleged incidents. However, no immediate comment has been provided by Tesla representatives regarding the judge’s ruling.

The case, known as Vaughn v. Tesla, Inc., is being reviewed in the California Superior Court, Alameda County.